Using a multiple criteria decision support system to support natural resource management decision-making for ecologically sustainable development

Robinson, Jacqueline Jefferson. (1999). Using a multiple criteria decision support system to support natural resource management decision-making for ecologically sustainable development PhD Thesis, School of Economics, The University of Queensland.

       
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Author Robinson, Jacqueline Jefferson.
Thesis Title Using a multiple criteria decision support system to support natural resource management decision-making for ecologically sustainable development
School, Centre or Institute School of Economics
Institution The University of Queensland
Publication date 1999
Thesis type PhD Thesis
Supervisor Richard Brown
Darrel Doessel
John Asafu-Adjaye
Total pages 425
Language eng
Subjects 14 Economics
Formatted abstract Decision-making with respect to natural resource management is complex. The primary objectives of natural resource management encompass the principles of ecological sustainable development (ESD) for which there are multiple objectives to be considered. These objectives are frequently competing and conflicting. Community participation in natural resource management is recognised as legitimising decision outcomes. Integrated Catchment Management (ICM) has been strongly promoted in Australia as providing a strategic framework for the diverse, and sometimes conflicting and competing, interests of stakeholders to be compiled and incorporated within a process of decision making.

Multiple Criteria Decision Support tools are argued as being appropriate for supporting or aiding decision making in complex situations where information is uncertain and where there are problems associated with quantifying outcomes. They provide a formal process to facilitate the incorporation of information from a number of disciplines in a decision-support framework to identify a compromise solution.

This thesis describes the operationalisation of a Multiple Criteria Decision Support System (MCDSS) for natural resource management in an environment which is participatory, in terms of incorporating stakeholder preferences, as well as scientifically valid, in terms of data and simulation model support. The case study for this research is the Cattle Creek Catchment within the Mareeba-Dimbulah Irrigation Area (MDIA) in Far North Queensland. In some parts of the catchment the groundwater is highly saline and the water table is rising. At the present rate of rise, there could be a danger that salt will affect irrigated agriculture in the area. The consequences of the groundwater problem are not confined to specific primary producers in the catchment but to downstream irrigators and to the community generally.

This thesis contends that the MCDSS approach to decision-making provides a framework for decision-making which has the potential to increase the awareness of stakeholders to natural resource problems and the difficulties encountered in evaluating options to address these problems. By involving stakeholders in the process of decision-making and providing them with information about the extent and nature of the trade-offs associated with choosing a specific course of action the decision making process becomes more transparent and increases the validity of the choice of management options. It is further proposed that the MCDSS approach operationalised for the Cattle Creek Catchment is appropriate for other catchment areas where natural resource management is required.
Keyword Renewable natural resources -- Australia
Nature conservation -- Australia
Sustainable development -- Australia

Document type: Thesis
Collection: UQ Theses (RHD) - UQ staff and students only
 
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